Mumbai, Delhi will need a third airport soon

The long wait for the Navi Mumbai International Airport just got a bit longer. It will now start operations early to mid-2020, and not in December 2019, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said yesterday.

The Navi Mumbai International Airport project was proposed in 1997. Since then, a host of issues, chiefly around land acquisition, have held up the project. In February last year, prime minister Narendra Modi officially inaugurated work on the project, with the first flight scheduled for “end 2019”. However, that deadline has now been pushed.

The Navi Mumbai International Airport is being developed on a public-private partnership basis between government agency CIDCO and GVK-Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL). One of the world’s top design firms, Zaha Hadid Architects, has been roped in for the project. The firm is also designing the upcoming Daxing mega-airport in Beijing.

But even the second airport won’t be enough. Mumbai and Delhi will need a third airport by 2040. The aviation ministry’s Vision 2040 document, unveiled at the Global Aviation Summit yesterday, forecasts a massive surge in air traffic in the coming years. It will spike six times to1.1 billion per year by 2040, with nearly 2,400 aircraft in the air. “India may have around 190-200 operational airports in 2040. Its top 31 cities may have two airports, and the cities of Delhi and Mumbai three each,” according to the document.

Source: Condé Nast Traveller

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